Carillon mark 25 years at St Saviour’s Church, St Albans

PUBLISHED: 10:08 05 May 2012

Elis Pehkonen

Elis Pehkonen

Archant

TWENTY five years of music making will be marked by Carillon in their fourth concert of the current season at St Saviour’s Church in St Albans next Saturday, May 12.

To celebrate the anniversary, the choir has commissioned a 12-minute piece for voices and harp from Elis Pehkonen, who, despite his Finnish-sounding name, was born in Norfolk.

Entitled Visions in a Dream, it is based on adaptations of the unfinished poem Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

There are seven contrasted visions, interrupted twice by the Person from Porlock, whom Coleridge blamed for the poem’s incompleteness. This speaking role will be played by David Ireson, suitably clad for the occasion.

Other works involving the harp will be two of the popular Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda for women’s voices by Gustav HolstHymn to the Travellers and Hymn to Vena – and Spring Carol from A Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten.

Unaccompanied English works will include the ever-popular Five Flower Songs by Britten and four well-known part-songs by Edward ElgarDeep in my Soul, O wild West Wind, Owls and My Love dwelt in a northern Land.

French songs will include the Trois Chansons de Charles d’Orléans by Claude Debussy and Calme des Nuits and Les Fleurs et les Arbres by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Carillon has engaged Suzanne Willison-Kawalec, principal harpist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra since 2005, to accompany them; she will also play two pieces for solo harp.

In charge of proceedings will be Andrew Parnell, one of Carillon’s long-standing conductors, former assistant master of the music at St Albans Abbey and now a freelance musician based in Cambridgeshire.

Tickets, at £13 (full price) and £11 (students and pensioners), are available in advance by telephone on 01582 763774 or on the door on the night.

The concert starts at 7.30pm and Elis Pehkonen will be giving a free 20-minute pre-concert talk about his commissioned work in the church at 7pm.

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